Meta descriptions are short summaries of each of your webpages displayed below the link (title tag) in search results.

meta description in search results
Example of meta description in search results

Where do I set meta descriptions?

Setting your meta description is much easier with the use of an SEO plugin, which will give you the ability to set the meta description on a page by page basis.

The dialogue box for setting your meta description varies from one SEO plugin to the next, but most look similar to this:

Meta description dialogue box in SEOPress
Meta description dialogue box in SEOPress

What should I write in my meta description?

The purpose of your meta description is to give the viewer (often someone looking through the search engine results) a good understanding of the content they’ll find on your page. While your meta description doesn’t have a direct effect on your rankings, because it does affect how many people click through to your website, it has an indirect effect (better click through rate = better rankings).

You want to keep your meta description between 50-160 characters, and it should be written in a natural active voice. Since there’s no direct SEO benefit here, there’s no need to “stuff in” keywords.

Write the meta descriptions as a “marketer” making your description more compelling than others that rank for the same topic. The goal here is to be as descriptive as possible and entice people to click through to your website to learn more.

If you feel stuck, try researching what others have used in their meta description (by searching for the keywords you wish to rank for) and gather ideas.

Lastly, you’ll want each page to have its own, unique meta description. It can be tempting to “skip” this step, or copy and paste from one page to the next, but those who write unique descriptions for each page see the best results.